You probably already saw this promo for Google Glass, the augmented reality mobile eyepiece that spams you with friend updates, lets stalkers know where you are and keeps shoving Google Plus circles at you. Google has announced that it’s selling the Explorer Edition to developers and will begun running off actual products in two years.
Google’s search and social offerings are just ways to shove ads at you. But you don’t see ads while the hipster heads to a hipster bookstore, gets hipster coffee and plays the Ukelele for his girlfriend. But the ads have to be there. There’s no point in a search experience without getting the ads in there.
So what will Google Glass ads look like? Who knows. Audio ads are obvious and obviously annoying, but remember Google Glass is augmented reality. It’s primitive augmented reality that functions like a basic mobile device, but if they stick around, they will get more sophisticated.
So what will augmented reality ads look like? Take a look at this augmented reality demo and remember that it was developed by an ad agency.
Remember all those ads you run into while browsing? The weird guy wriggling his head? The half-naked girl? The bug flying around?
Now imagine those in augmented reality. And then start imagining the dinosaurs in there too. And people so real that you have to take off your glasses to realize they don’t exist. Or you can just wait for their product pitches.
Rendering those kinds of graphics will be beyond Google Glass, but not beyond many mobile devices on the market already. And the processors are getting more powerful, lower energy and capable of doing more with graphics, while graphics hardware companies and engine developers are aiming harder at the mobile market.
If Google Glass is a success, the third generation of devices will be able to shove high end graphics in augmented reality at you. And while XBox 720 may already have something like that (if not the next generation of consoles will have it for the home environment, imagine fighting battles in your living room instead of a warehouse full of crates, not too exciting, but you’re less likely to bump into walls, the living room can also be used to map out the warehouse, your sofa can be one of the crates, kick it to pop out health packs) things will start getting properly weird when you encounter this stuff on the way to work.
Remember ads play for all the tons of free internet crap you get. Mobile has made ads more challenging, but augmented reality takes away the challenge. It’s the brass ring of ad agencies and Google. Instead of a few obscure AdSense or Facebook ads that no one clicks on, you’ll meet a dinosaur on the way to work who will try to sell you something.
It’s going to be a strange world.